NEW LONDON, Conn. – Jon Wagner's 12 yard touchdown run in double overtime set off a wild celebration on Homecoming Weekend lifting Coast Guard to a 20-14 win over Catholic in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) game.
Coast Guard improves to 4-1 overall and 1-1 in the NEWMAC while Catholic drops to 0-5 overall and 0-2 in conference play. The Bears open the season 4-1 for the second straight season.
It was the second winning touchdown run in overtime of the season for Wagner, who scored on a 20-yard touchdown run in a 24-23 overtime win at Nichols on Sept. 13th.
Coast Guard finished with 324 yards of total offense, 211 in the air, while Catholic had 403 yards in the game, 223 passing. The Bears were held to 119 yards in the second half.
Catholic, which trailed 14-0, scored 14 points in the fourth quarter to force the overtime tying the game on a two-point conversion with 1:13 left in regulation.
The Bears tried a hail mary on the final play of regulation that was intercepted by Drew Thomas in end zone.
Coast Guard had the first possession in overtime and Patrick Crowley missed a 35-yard field goal. The Cardinals had a 19-yard field goal attempt to win the game on, but a bad snap would force a second overtime.
The Coast Guard defense would get the important stop to start the second overtime and freshman Jared Colletti blocked a 38-yard field goal. Wagner would score the game winner on a 2nd and eight.
Wagner led the Bears with 15 carries and 63 yards while Justin Moffatt tied a career-high with 11 receptions for a season-high 93 yards. Ryan Jones was 24 of 39 for 211 yards with one touchdown and the one interception on the hail mary at the end of regulation.
Brady Berger was 35 of 52 for 223 yards with a touchdown for Catholic while Bryan Melara had 217 yards of total offense as he led the way on the ground with 30 carries for 143 yards and had a team-high 11 receptions for 74 yards in the loss.
Coast Guard scored a touchdown in each of the first two quarters, as Jones threw a 41-yard touchdown pass to Moffatt, his first of the season, to cap the opening possession of the game with 12:33 left in the first quarter and Moffatt scored on an 8-yard run on a reverse with 2:30 left in the first half for a 14-0 halftime lead. The Bears had 205 total yards in the first half while Catholic had 149 yards in the first half.
Neither team would score in the third quarter as the Bears managed just 32 yard of offense in that third period.
The Cardinals would get on the board early in the fourth when quarterback Brady Berger scored on a 22-yard run, but the extra point was missed making the score 14-6 with 13:05 left in regulation.
Catholic would get the ball back with 5:56 left in regulation and go 44 yards in 13 plays capped on a six-yard touchdown pass from Berger to Trey Carson with 1:13 left in the fourth. The Cardinals would tie the game when Berger found Nick Gonzalez open for the two-point conversion.
Eugene Bizer had a career-high 16 tackles and 2.5 for loss to lead the Coast Guard defense while Andre Horner and Philip Orlando as had career-highs with 13 tackles each.
The Bears have won a pair of overtime games in the same season for just the second time as the team also accomplished that feat in 1997 with wins over RPI (22-16) and Springfield (26-20) en route to winning a school record nine games, winning the Freedom Football Conference Championship and earning a berth to the NCAA playoffs.
Coast Guard is back in action next Saturday when the Bears host Springfield on Community Appreciation Day at 1:30.